Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Find: Glass from the Past

Glass jars, like the beautiful apothecary variety that Jen over at at Pear Street Studios showed off yesterday, provide the perfect vessel to display almost any treasured collection. The trick is to gather similar objects -- either of shape, color, nomenclature or size -- and isolate them in the confines of a glass structure.

Et vôilà! Instant collection.

Two of my favorite examples of glassed-in collections were photographed by Jim Franco for my book The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details.

This whimsical example above was discovered on the Fire Island getaway of Saltaire. Tall beer glasses, easily found at thrift shops or discount stores, are filled with multi-colored sea glass where their hues and translucence capture the eye from their perch on a screened-in back porch. You could even use dissimilar shaped glasses to create a collection, provided they don't have distracting, inharmonious embellishments.

I also adore the way that Yasmine McGrane, owner and founder of Maison Rěve in Mill Valley, California, gathered clothespins and Scrabble tiles in apothecary jars for a thoughtful display. For further appeal, she separated the French wooden clothespins from the American variety.

Just last month while visiting Yasmine at Maison Rěve in Mill Valley and celebrating the launch of The Find, I rummaged around in her workroom and snapped a photo of these wooden Lego blocks, grouped together and plopped inside what looks to me like an over sized pickle or mayonnaise jar.

For more ideas for creating eye-catching collections, pick up The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details at Borders, Barnes & Noble, Amazon or Powell's.

Collecting my own thoughts on a beach getaway myself!

The Elegant Thrifter

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous!


  1. Wonderful ideas!!! Can I post your link on my blog?
    Hugs, Jen

  2. These are wonderful. I have started a small collection of 'pampilles', which are the crystal chandelier drops I can find in Vide Greniers over here in France. Following the advice of the vendor, I popped them in the dish washer and they came up beautifully! Until I have enought to makeover my cheap chandelier, I am storing the crystals in a glass vase on my mantlepiece and, like your pictures here, I think they look great!

  3. Stan,
    I finally was able to get my hands on a copy of "The Find" at my local Borders - amazing! I loved it throughly! (Being the thrifty person that I am, I have ordered it from Amazon where they offer a slight discount) I cannot wait to read more in depth and look at all that eye candy again! I will have to do a little post myself featuring your book. It will join my other fav, "Found Style" (out of print by Amy Butler pre-fabric design).

  4. Hi there, thanks for stopping by my blog and the wonderful compliment.
    Love you blog!!!
    Julie, Kindred Roses



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